When your limb repair requires external fixation, you need experts like those at Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio in Mentor, Chardon, Westlake, Lakewood and Garfield Heights, Ohio, on your medical team. Whether you need repair of a serious fracture or correction of a deformity, they provide a number of options for this surgical procedure. For a consultation about how external fixation can help repair your injury, call or book an appointment online today.
External Fixation Q & A
What is external fixation?
External fixation is a surgical method of immobilizing bones during the healing process. It uses externally placed pins or screws into the bone on either side of the fracture and the pins are secured to each other using a frame placed on the outside of the body.
External fixation allows for stability of the bone and soft tissue after surgeries like:
- Bone-fracture repair
- Limb deformity correction
- Bone-misalignment repair
- Limb salvage
- Charcot reconstruction
It can also be used to protect soft tissue after a burn or other serious injury to avoid contraction of soft tissues during the healing process.
What are the steps of placing an external-fixation device?
An external-fixation system is placed during an orthopedic surgery by your surgeon, usually under general anesthesia. Once the purpose of the surgery itself has been accomplished, steps are:
- Drill holes into undamaged areas of the bone
- Screw specialized bolts into pre-drilled holes
- Attach external-fixator frame
- Make adjustments to ensure proper alignment
Skin care is important at the screw sites, to avoid infection and promote healing. External-fixation devices remain in place until the bones are healed. The frame, screws, and bolts are removed in your doctor’s office without the need for sedation.
What kinds of external-fixator devices are there?
Fixator-frame systems are varied and come in different composites and arrangements. Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio offers devices that utilize the Ilizarov method of external fixation.
The Ilizarov method uses a specialized frame that includes rings, adjustable wires, and hinges to serve as a supportive structure during limb deformity correction and bone and soft-tissue healing.
Two devices that use these principles are:
TL-HEX Truelok Hexapod System® by Orthofix ®
The TL-HEX is a hexapod system that uses a complex system of rings, wires, struts, and other technology. Using computer-based adjustments, limb deformities can be corrected precisely.
Taylor Spatial Frame™ (TSF)
The TSF uses a complex system of struts and wires on a ring-shaped frame, which allows for exacting adjustments to be made as needed.
These methods and devices allow for versatility in bone and soft-tissue repair, as well as precise control of limb deformity correction.
For a consultation about how an external-fixation system could be an important part of your healing process, call Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio or book an appointment online today.